Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Politically Correct Treasury Mandarins

A Slur Too Far

Guest Column
Chattering Class Member

Columnist, Rodney Hide has had the gall to criticise one of the great ones amongst us.  The current head of the Treasury (sometimes called a gnome)  Gabriel Makhlouf  has deigned to spend a bit of his precious time and thought to consider the vital welfare of business and commerce in New Zealand.  

Here is an  image of the august personage.  [Please refrain, if possible, from involuntary genuflecting.]

Makhlouf has no such concerns. The government takes his pay and expenses each week out of ours and from all that we spend. Photo / Supplied

Now Mr Hide should know better.  It is a violation of the fundamental order of nature for someone of Mr Hide's stature to criticise a Great One.  But what can you do when our society, for some reason known only to itself, would allow criticism by one so stunted as Mr Hide against a personage so august and gnomish as Mr Makhlouf.
I was not at all astonished to hear Treasury head honcho Gabriel Makhlouf trumpeting diversity.  Diversity has become the new thing among the Wellington and Auckland power elite. It's nice sounding, impossible to be against and demonstrates great virtue. You can be old, white, male, bureaucratic but blowing the diversity trumpet makes you the solution, not the problem.
Diversity!  What could the great one be on about?  And why would plebian Mr Hide dare to raise his critical reedy voice?
 Well it seems that Mr Hide does not like the latest fashionable cause of the Great Ones.  Diversity is so important in business you know.  Every company needs diversity in its management rolls and on its board.  We need not just females and males, but how can we gainsay the trumpet call for diversity of race amongst the employment ranks.  And on the Board.  There are thousands of ethnicities: all deserve to be represented in Kiwi businesses.  Which of course mandates a staff of thousands for each company, from the small to the great.  The same principle applies to company boards.  Diversity, diversity--how we adore thee.

Besides, there are far more genders than just the old fashioned, repressive, anticreative two--male and female.  Facebook has identified dozens of them--over 70 at last count. No living person dares criticise the holy scriptures of Facebook.  Mr Hide, does your company have  Cis Female, Cis Male, Cisgender Female, Gender Fluid, or Gender Nonconforming persons, to choose just a few from the long list?  No?  Poor coot.  There is no way your business will ever flourish or reach its true potential.
The power elite has trumpeted sustainability. It has  trumpeted partnership. And now it is diversity's turn.  Spare a thought for those still trying to float the partnership tub. That's now old and rusty and diversity is so much better, more powerful and more inclusive. Partnership is so last decade.  Of course, outside the power elite no one cares for diversity. We didn't care for sustainability and partnership either. We are too busy making this week's payroll.  We have children to feed and bills to pay.
There.  We told you so.  Mr Hide is a troglodyte, which is bad enough.  But he is also stubborn and fails to genuflect before his betters.  When Mandarins speak, we coolies have no recourse except to bow and scrape.
We have 101 government departments telling us what to do. We must daily negotiate mountains of purposeless rules and regulations both vague and contradictory.  Makhlouf has no such concerns. The government takes his pay and expenses each week out of ours and from all that we spend.  He is on the taxpayer's tab, freed up to worry about the non-problems of diversity, sustainability and partnership. He doesn't need to get the concrete poured this week. Not for him the endless and mind-numbing safety drills on building sites.

Makhlouf perfectly captures the disconnect that exists between the power elite and everyone else. "Diversity of thought", "gender diversity and inclusion" and "adding "ethnicity to the mix" are all "close to his heart".  Us? We're too busy.
Yes, Mr Hide.  We thought that would be the case.  Is it not the lot of the coolie, or the peasant?  You, then, would have no idea of the crystal clear, rarefied air breathed by one such august person as Mr Makhlouf.  Why even typing his name brings on a fit of trembling, lest we be found guilty of dishonouring the gods.
If Makhlouf was serious about "diversity of thought" he would start with himself. He would spend a season milking cows. He would sweep the factory floor. He would learn how hard government makes it to be in business and employ people.  He would work at McDonald's. He would learn customer service. He would spend months on a concrete gang. He would learn what it is to build and to produce.  His mind would be expanded and his thought diversified.
Yuk.  Mr Hide has now degenerated into coarseness.  He is betraying his roots.  His low class orgins.  How embarrassing.  Yet, you have to give him some credit.  His spirit is indomitable, and his ignorance invincible.  At the finish he even degenerates into sarcasm, the lowest form of wit popular amongst the lowest of the prols.
He would return to Treasury changed. He would have met his customers and those who pay his way. He would have seen what a horrid and grotesque waste our government is. He would understand why the productive and civilised care not a whit for bureaucratic prattling about diversity.

Makhlouf would realise that as Treasury's head honcho he could surely be productive. He could be peeling back the wasteful red tape, taking the axe to government waste, and allowing the people who pay his way, and vote for his bosses, to keep more of what they earn.  Makhlouf proves his case. There's a great need for diversity of thought. We need the thought of the taxpayers in government, not tax eaters.
How embarrassing.  We hope Mr Makhlouf does not notice these gross slurs from the coarsest amongst us.

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